What I love about Homeschooling

Its hard to believe that summer is over. The dragonflies days are numbered, even here in Georgia. No more sleeping until 10:21 a.m. ,on the weekdays anyway.
Because we homeschool, I suppose we could sleep that late every day. But, there’s a certain satisfaction in doing all your work, starting at the same time as all other students, and finishing three hours earlier.
The very best thing about homeschooling though, is not doing math barefoot,at your kitchen table. It’s not picking out every book your child will read this year, or finishing school work in four and a half hours. It’s not declaring Backwards Day, or Friday Fun Day, or going to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell instead of reading about it in a classroom. It’s not even Spanish at IHOP. The most fantastic thing is the time you get to spend with your children, instead of sending them away for seven hours a day.
I feel very blessed to have this opportunity. And, I am also happy that I am not running two businesses while homeshooling, (like last year), when I was the proprietor of an inn AND a restaurant. I found that as much as I loved the business I’d built, it seemed to keep me more and more focused on everyone except my family. I would arrange these fabulous dinner parties for 40 people with steak and asparagus, etc. And my family was next door eating mac and cheese. I’d arrange beautiful flowers for the main house, make sure every room was picture perfect, while my own house was an absolute mess. But more than anything, it seemed that my babies were growing up so, so fast. I was afraid I’d turn around and they’d be sixteen.
So, my husband and I sold the whole thing, including our house, to the new owners, and really de-stressed my existence. I only regret that I didn’t do it five years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the challenge and adventure of building a business. I was driven. But somewhere in there, I had an epiphany. I suddenly saw with absolute clarity, it’s all about your family and the everyday little things. I mean, it’s really only about the little things. That’s where the big things are. The things we strive for, the extra stuff that’s acquirable, layawayable, and consumable are all smoke and mirrors. They can’t make your heart sing. The really great stuff is within an armslength. There’s a miracle in every day, just waiting for discovery and I don’t want to miss one spiderweb with dew.
I want to be the one to explain the 2008 Presidential Election, the Olympics, and the clash in Russia. I want to read my children, Little House in the Big Woods. I want to “look at the lizard crawling up the tree by the front porch”, admire temporarily captive baby toads, discuss Batman vs. Ironman, and be able to leave with 30 minutes notice, and go anywhere out of town.
I want to just hang out and soak up every tiny bit of my children growing up. The most incredible experience in the world.

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Trip to Washington D.C. with kids

Washington Monument

Washington D.C. was an incredible experience. After spending a sleepless night on Amtrak, (more on that later), we arrived at the Omni Shoreham. We had an enormous suite, with two queen beds, great linens, a separate area for lounging, two flat screen t.v.s, another more remote area with a marble bath. It was really great. They even had the keys ready for check-in, without going through the front desk. And, of course, my husband was ready to go as soon as we got there. So, napless, we showered, changed and were off to the Smithsonian, the National Mall, etc. Only after 4 hours of walking around Washington did I get back to the hotel for a nap. Twenty minutes after we arrived, a knock at our door and a tray of ice cold milk and chocolate chip cookies, compliments of the Shoreham! That happened every day for the kids. Nice touch and they looked forward to it too. And I had a great nap!
Washington has so many great places. We ate across from the Shoreham every night. One night, Italian, next night Lebanese, then Greek. Then we went across to Baskin Robins. It was totally a multicultural experience, including the caramel sundae.
We saw everything from the National Mall, Lincoln Monument, every museum in Washington, the National Portrait Gallery, where I decided Reagan’s pencil portarit in his jeans was one of my favorite’s, followed by Clinton and Roosevelt. Of coures, by this time, (around 5 p.m.), my youngest was rolling around on the floor, nomatter who I pointed out to him and even though they had a presidential video playing, he wanted to go swimming. We even saw the Spy Museum, it was very cool. You name it, we walked to it and saw it. I think Washington was the kids’ favorite stop. I highly recommend the Shoreham. But wherever you stay, make sure you are near their metro. It’s so easy to hop on and off, even if you aren’t used to it. It’s cheap too.
One more thing, if you are shopping for a hotel, try to book early. Some hotels were 150.00 more per night, than they were a month earlier. And try more than one web site; Expedia, Hotels.com and the hotel’s own website. Many times, when I called the hotel directly, I got the best rate, (the “best available rate” is usually cheaper than the AAA rate, who kew?).

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Stormy Philadelphia

Wouldn’t you know, just when you drag a computer up the Eastern sea board, the thing will crash. Nevertheless, I am broadcasting live from the Business Center, Crowne Plaza Philadelphia. This fantastic storm just rolled into the city and is sending shards of electricity through the night sky. It’s really something to see from the 18th floor, despite my partially obstructed view, (there’s a big building directly across from my room. But, after minimal furniture rearrangement, I have the perfect view from the desk chair, that previously sat before a desk that now sits where it should have all along; beside the television). I can’t help it, it’s in my blood. This is our final stop on our Amtrak trip and I have to say, riding Amtrak has actually grown on me. I like the ease of boarding, the roomy seats and the snack bar. And, if my stupid computer worked, I could blog all the way. They even have Starbucks, Tazo Teas and other forms of fun imbibery. You can actually read a book and be rested when you arrive. And everyone in the Northeast was all excited about how riding Amtrak is so much cheaper, ridership is up. Who’d have thought it? Anyway, I have the best ideas for where to stay, one or two on where not to stay, where to eat, (complete with photos) and even fabulous ideas for Christmas gifts. I found all these wonderful shops and artisans along my journey, complete with websites. I can’t wait to share. Right now, my children and husband are up the room watching Horton Hears a Who on payperview and I am due back with hot chocolate, milk and hot tea, plus, it sounds like thunder.

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